Betis - Barcelona Preview: Blaugrana looking for eighth away win on the bounce
The Catalans have already achieved their best start to a league campaign and much of that is owed to their immense record away from home but they face a tricky test in Andalucia
By Tom Webber
Chica, Amaya, Dorado, Nacho
Benat, Canas, Sevilla
Castro, Molina, Campbell
Montoya, Pique, Mascherano, Alba
Xavi, Busquets, Iniesta
Pedro, Fabregas, Messi
Barcelona can maintain their 100 per cent record away from home in La Liga this season with a win over Betis at the Benito Villamarin stadium.
However, the Catalan giants may be forced to do so without the use of their talisman, Lionel Messi. In search of his 85th goal of 2012 in midweek, the Argentine took a knock and was forced to leave the field and thus making him a doubt for the journey down south.
Should he fail to be declared fit in time for the game, David Villa could start up front with Pedro and Andres Iniesta on either flank, while Cesc Fabregas could be moved back in to midfield. Javier Mascherano could return to the side to partner Gerard Pique in central defence, whilst Martin Montoya continues his run at right-back.
Pepe Mel received a big boost this week as centre-backs Paulao, Damien Perquis and Mario have all been passed fit, though he is unlikely to move away from the defensive pairing of Antonio Amaya and Chechu Dorado.
With Juan Carlos still a doubt ahead of Sunday's fixture, then, Joel Campbell may be rewarded for his excellent goal against Deportivo La Coruna last week with another start here.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Betis have enjoyed an impressive start to the season and currently sit in a lofty fourth position in the table.
- The Seville-based club held Barcelona to a 2-2 draw in the same fixture last term. A late equaliser from Seydou Keita stopped the hosts from picking up a momentous win.
- In fact, Betis have not lost at home to the Blaugrana in their last five home games against them.
- Victory on Sunday will bring Barcelona their eighth consecutive away win. The club record of 10 successive wins on their travels came under Pep Guardiola in the 2010-11 season.
- Lionel Messi (pictured, right) currently leads the league scoring charts with an astonishing 21 goals from the opening 14 league outings.
- The Catalan giants have continued their prolific form in front of goal from last season, netting at least twice in their previous 16 away games.
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Top 3 Predictions
Betis 1-3 FC Barcelona
- 15.84 %
Betis 0-4 FC Barcelona
- 10.94 %
Betis 0-3 FC Barcelona
- 10.62 %
|Spain - Primera Division (LIGA)||Nov 10, 2013||Betis 1 - FC Barcelona 4|
|Spain - Primera Division (LIGA)||May 5, 2013||FC Barcelona 4 - Betis 2|
|Spain - Primera Division (LIGA)||Dec 9, 2012||Betis 1 - FC Barcelona 2|
|Spain - Primera Division (LIGA)||May 12, 2012||Betis 2 - FC Barcelona 2|
|Spain - Primera Division (LIGA)||Jan 15, 2012||FC Barcelona 4 - Betis 2|
|Dec 18, 2013||Betis 2 - Lleida 2||ESPC|
|Dec 15, 2013||Real Sociedad 5 - Betis 1||LIGA|
|Dec 12, 2013||Betis 0 - HNK Rijeka 0||EL|
|Dec 6, 2013||Lleida 1 - Betis 2||ESPC|
|Dec 1, 2013||Betis 2 - Rayo Vallecano 2||LIGA|
|8||Andrés Iniesta Luján||Midfielder|
|13||José Pinto Colorado||Goalkeeper|
Times In GMT
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed